Bill Alston

The Yamaha EX and Yamaha VX Guitars

The 1985 Japanese catalogue launches the 4 new models

These are Yamahas Explorers and Flying Vs. Information on these guitars is quite hard to come by and pictures particularly of the EXs are scarce. What we do know is that four models were launched in October 1985 and production lasted about a year. The four models are the EX1 the EX2 the VX1 and the VX2 only the EX2 is detailed in the Yamaha Archives. It is fair to assume that these guitars are the same basic specifications the EX and VX differing only in body shape. The models 1 have traditional trems and nuts and the 2s have Rockin Magic trems and locking nuts. The 2s have coil taps and it suggested that the 1s don't I have no proof that the 1s don't.
Update Sept 2017
I have some information from a seller on Reverb who is selling a VX1 and a VX2, the VX1 definitely doesn't have a coil tap, he also states that both his guitars have the original pickups and that they are Seymour Duncan SH8 Invaders. Does this mean that some Seymour Duncans are Spinex pickups?

The 2s on the left and the 1s on the right showing clearly the different bridges.

The VX 1 and 2 headstocks showing the different nuts.

As I suggested earlier it is my belief that the specs for all these guitars are broadly similar. The differences being the nuts, bridges and coil taps as mentioned previously and also the colours. The only specs recorded are for the EX2 which are:

Body Maple and Nato
Neck Bolt on Maple with an Ebony Fretboard and 22 frets
Price on release 100,000 yen
Scale 628mm
Bridge Rockin Magic Pro
Hardware Chrome
Pickups SSH-11 Spinex x 2 see update above
Controls 1 volume 1 tone with coil tap and three way selector switch
Colours Flake Black and Pearl White
Known colours for other models EX1 Pink VX1 Blue VX2 Red what other colours there are I don't know.

Other pictures

I have only three pictures of the EX models other than the catalogues above.
Two Ex2s in Flake black one with changed pickups

An advertising poster for the EX2

Some VX Pictures, there are a few more pictures of these about.
This VX1 sold on Ebay in 2015 for $500.
Front and Back of a VX2 body.

Any additional information on these would be much appreciated.

Update May 2020
I have found an Australian sale of an EX1 refinished in white with no clue to the original colour but judging by the headstock it was probably white of some sort.
Some pictures

Looks like a string bar has been removed

There's a little information on specs in the sale info
Neck Bolt on Maple
Pickups 2 High Output HBs no coil tap
Strat Style Vibrato Bridge
Controls Black 1 volume 1 tone 3 way switch
22 frets

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